[To] equip you with everything good to do his will, working in us what is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
A Lesson from The Kitchen Table
Every family meal at my grandmother’s house is a 5-star, home-cooked meal. But while some dishes have become trademarks, others have become legendary. One of those dishes is my grandmother’s fried chicken. Sometimes, months or even years will go before she makes it for us again. When our plates are adorned with the golden-brown fillets, it is cause for celebration!
However, while our family always enjoys these fresh-cooked delicacies, we can hold our applause to anticipate a greater prize. After the birds have spent a night in the refrigerator, allowing the spices to marinate and the fried outer-layer to become an even crispier shell, Grandma’s cold fried chicken becomes heavenly. Yes, after all that waiting and salivating, we gain the greater thing.
The Power to Persevere
The writer of Hebrews concludes his letter of encouragement to an impatient, tired, and persecuted church with a benediction of doxology, a reminder of where their—and therefore our—hope lies. Our hope for today and the power to persevere through tomorrow is eternal, through Christ.
Israel was familiar with the temporary good news. Although they had fallen short of God’s holiness, He made a way for them to receive mercy. However, Christ gives the new Israel—Christians—an eternal promise through Christ, with grace that begins right now and only becomes more true. While salvation and a new identity are now in the believer’s possession, our greater fruit is that of hope. We know that after a lifetime of waiting and suffering, Christ will one day make all things new.
Bigger, Better News
The news of Grandma’s fried chicken preceding her greater, cold fried chicken is like that of our eternal hope. The author of Hebrews reminds us that our better and eternal promises are secured through Jesus. If the Torah was temporary good news for the Jews, then Christ is the better, fulfilled law for us. While the freedom Moses guided Israel toward and the tent built for God’s presence were good news to the Jews, heaven and the indwelling Holy Spirit are our better news. If the priests’ atoning for the sins of the Jews, repeated over and over, was temporarily good news, then the once-and-for-all victory of the Lamb of God is eternally good news for us—right now!
Belief with Every Breath
To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
The good news of Jesus Christ and His promise of salvation are given freely to those who believe and who confess Him to be Lord over their lives. To believe is not to believe once, but to believe with your every breath that you cannot earn your salvation and that your steps are no longer your own.
Take a moment to reflect on the areas of your life that you have not yet surrendered to the gospel. Where are you trying to earn God’s favor? Consider those are you who could likewise be encouraged by the goodness of the gospel and what it means for us not only today, but eternally as well. Pray for the wisdom to see your lack of belief, and for the wisdom to offer the truth in grace to others.